KAPCIAMIESTIS JEWISH CEMETERY
ADDRESS: Kapciamiestis, Lazdijai, LITHUANIA
LO TISHKACH ID NO.: 5478
Alternative/Former City Names: Kopcheve/קופצ'ווה (Yiddish)
First Jewish Settlement: Mid 18th century
Jewish Community Established: Mid 18th century
Present Usage of Cemetery: Unprotected Jewish cemetery
Location & Demarcation: The cemetery is located north of the town, on the way to Veisiejai, on the eastern side of Mechanizatoriu Street. A stone with an inscription in Yiddish and Lithuanian marks the cemetery’s entrance.
Gravestones, Memorial Markers & Structures: The cemetery is neither fenced nor demarcated. 75 percent of the remaining gravestones, which bear inscriptions in Hebrew and Yiddish, are toppled and/or broken. The oldest gravestone dates back to 1843, the most recent one to 1935. A burial register is available. Littering and vegetation overgrowth are a problem at the site, which receives no regular maintenance or care. Descendants of Kapciamiestis Jews are willing to provide funding for the cemetery's restoration and maintenance, but negotiations with the municipal authorities have not been completed successfully so far.
History of the Jewish Community: Jews settled in Kapciamiestis in the mid 18th century as innkeepers, farmers and tradesmen. They had a Cheder for the children. At the end of the 19th century, the Jewish population was 548, approximately 40 per cent of the total population. By 1923, the Jewish population had dwindled to 187, and by 1940, it was down to approximately 45 families. On 22 June 1941, Nazis captured the town, burning down the synagogue and Jewish homes. Those who could not escape were kept captive in a barn and on 15 September transferred to Katkishe Ghetto, where they were murdered on 3 November 1941.
Source: Carol Hoffman, PhD, Tel Aviv, Israel. Images © Carol Hoffman